So, you’ve just set up your company’s social media presence and are having a blast creating content for Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Your friends think you’ve landed a dream job because you get to spend your days on social sites. However, your manager pokes his head into your office and says he need to brief the CEO on the ROI of employing a community manager. You Google ‘ROI’ and ‘Social Media’ and start hyperventilating.
Social media is here to stay and organizations are rapidly recognizing its benefits. However, strategically tracking and measuring social media activity is now a growing priority for organizations.
Luckily, there are plenty of free tools available to help community managers measure their activities. This week, I’ll review three free tools and one paid service:
Google Analytics Social Reports
Using an overview of your social networks, this tool allows you to visualize your social traffic so you can measure how social traffic is impacting business goals and conversions.
Features and Benefits:
Measure conversion rates and the monetary value of conversions that occurred from visits from social networks. The visits are linked to goals and Ecommerce transactions. A great way to report on ROI!
Evaluate Social Sources
See which social networks and sites refer the highest quality traffic so you can refine social campaigns. Google Analytics looks at the referring URL of the visit. If the URL matches one of the domains they’ve assigned to a social media network, it pops up in your social reports under the corresponding social network.
Monitor content that’s most commonly shared, and to which social networks they’re being shared (for example, Google+ or Facebook). This lets you create more of the type of content that’s popular with your visitors, and remove features that aren’t being used.
A social media search and analysis platform, it aggregates user generated content (Twitter, bloggs, videos, comments, etc.) so you can track and measure what people are saying about you, your company, or a topic across the social media landscape.
Features and Benefits:
This tool makes it easy to monitor, not only what’s being said, but also who is saying and what the general sentiment is towards the company or brand so you can react in real-time. An invaluable listening and monitoring tool, especially for new community managers trying to get a handle of conversations already taking place before jumping in.
A very useful tool to identify and target influencers in your community.
Features and benefits
- Where your followers are from, which language they speak, their activity on Twitter, etc.
- Which users you follow who have a low follow ratio
- Inactive followers
- Best time to tweet report, based on when most of your followers are online, so you can can see when you’ll get more retweets and replies.
Finally, for those who’ve convinced their organizations about social media’s ROI and are in a position to ask for funding, you may be interested in Lithium.
Lithium is a paid social media monitoring tool that aggregates and analyzes content from Twitter, blogs, photo- and video-sharing sites, forums, and comments. Lithium also enables you to identify your key influencers and affect what is being said, retweeted and reposted on social media networks.
Features and Benefits
- Searches: Get real-time access to content on social media sites to respond in a timely manner.
- Sentiment tracking: It gives you a real-time look at the tone and sentiment of your social mentions.
- Buzz tracking: Evaluates your social media success or failure. It also offers comparisons with competitors and your industry.
- Quotes: Monitor what your customers are saying about your brand. You can directly see their praise, complaints, and issues with your company or products so you can be responsive.
At the end of the day, one monitoring and measuring tool is unlikely to fulfill all your metric needs. Once you’ve asked your manager to define how your activities are expected to help your organization’s objectives, you can then work backwards to see what tool will best help you measure your activities.